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Around the World

News/Business. Suzanne Malveaux and Michael Holmes bring updates of the latest news around the world. New.




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U.s. 22, Benghazi 17, Us 17, United States 13, Turkey 11, Syria 10, Boston 9, Cleveland 8, Libya 8, Angie 7, Washington 6, Nato 5, Obama 4, Obama Administration 4, Kfc 4, Afghanistan 4, Anthony 4, Anthony Bourdain 3, Chris Stevens 3, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev 3,
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  CNN    Around the World    News/Business. Suzanne Malveaux and Michael Holmes  
   bring updates of the latest news around the world. New.  

    May 16, 2013
    9:00 - 10:01am PDT  

of course then you got to see the damage and there was a lot of it. at least six people killed, more than 100 injured. several still missing. president obama and turkey's prime minister will go before the cameras shortly. and the meeting with the turkish prime minister also has major implications overseas as well. >> absolutely. turkey has been a key u.s. ally in the middle east now and in the muslim world in general. the borders it shares with iraq, iran and syria, well, the prime minister is pushing for the u.s. to step up its efforts to end syria's bloody civil war including establishing a no-fly zone and also arming syrian rebels. >> so we are likely to hear about that in the statements that the two leaders are going to make. but of course there are going to be a lot of questions to both these leaders. the president taking questions surely on the scandals he is struggling with. we are talking about the irs targeting conservative groups,
the seizure of phone records. >> there will be a lot asked, probably not all about turkey. the president trying to get out ahead of those controversies after several days on the defensive. >> jessica yellin at the white house. jessica, so we know clearly the white house in damage control there. you're watching in the rose garden there. the president yesterday announced the resignation of the irs commissioner. do you think that the administration feels like it's done enough or does he have more explaining to do today? >> suzanne, whether they feel they have more explaining to do or not, bottom line is they do. remember in 2007 and 2008, barack obama then a senator ran on a platform of hope ask change. he promised to run government in a different way. it would not be politics as usual.
he's requiring more trust in government than at times in the past. and now there are a series of stories raising people's concerns or at least fed the perception that government can't function properly. so we have to answer the questions under his watch can government function properly? he has also insisted that his is the most transparent administration in history, but his administration has prosecuted more reporters for leaks -- i'm sorry, more government officials for leaks than every other president combined. so he has a lot of questions to answer. and what he did last night certainly does not put all these issues to rest. >> because it's been, jessica, this sort of feeling in many ways as these scandals evolved that if he was on the sidelines if you like, an observer in many ways rather than diving in and tackling it. how does he get his focus back on his agenda? >> well, they're trying to show that they're back to work, it's business as usual here.
yesterday, he met with john mccain on immigration reform. as you point out, he also took action on the irs. today, he's addressing another scandal, which is sexual assault in the military. he's having his defense secretary in to talk about that. and today we'll hear him talk about how he's addressing foreign policy by pressing turkey for more discussions and working out where the u.s. and turkey stand on action with the rebels in syria and transitional government there. so the message is we're working on the serious matters of government, not on the silly scandals. but, you know, that's their view. americans are no longer viewing these scandals as just silly. it's also the substantive stuff the president has to really face head-on. >> jessica, thanks for that. jessica yellin standing by as we await the president and prime minister erdogan. >> our wolf blitzer is joining
us from washington to talk more about that. wolf, second term is pretty tough. i remember we shared the experience of covering president clinton, much of his second term agenda squashed by the monica lowinski scandal. so the problems that the obama administration are facing right now different in nature, but does this president risk becoming weighed down with these scandals and not able to get his agenda back on the table like immigration reform, fiscal issues, education? >> well, there's three scandals potentially in the works right now, as you know, suzanne. it's bad enough when there's one like the monica scandal that plagued the clinton administration, or iran contra that plagued the second term of the reagan administration, certainly watergate that plagued richard nixon's administration in the second term and led to his forced resignation as president of the united states. so those were all individual
scandals that obviously escalated and escalated and escalated. you never know where they're going to wind up. there are three underway right now. so he's got to deal with it. and yesterday he came out forcefully and tried to deal with the irs scandal. he's got these two other issues, the benghazi issue that's not going away. to a lesser degree the monitoring the phone records of the associated press reporters and editors to try to determine who leaked national security secrets to the associated press. these are all problems. he's got to deal with it. and if he doesn't, he's going to have a major issue in dealing with this much more important second term agenda. >> all right. wolf, good to see you. wolf blitzer there also following this. we continue to wait for the president and prime minister erdogan of turkey to come out and speak and hope to take a couple questions. >> beautiful day there in washington in the rose garden. we are moving to texas, an area where ten tornadoes ripped through an area near dallas overnight.
>> at least six people were killed, more than 100 injured. the city of claburne was hard hit. >> the mayor joins us. mayor scott kaen, thank you so much for joining us. how are you doing there and what is the clean-up involved? >> i'll tell you, the storms destroyed a lot of our property but hasn't destroyed the spirit of our citizens. we're going through the process of looking at the damage and rallying together to help one another. we're very fortunate in cleburne that we didn't have a sing l casualty and we didn't have a single major injury, yet we have lost hundreds of homes. and our citizens are very resilient. they're sticking together. >> where were you when the tornado hit? describe the experience from your own perspective.
>> yes. i was sitting at the kitchen table with my seventh grade son doing homework. we were watching the news and watching the storm very carefully. when the warning sirens went off, we had a plan to rally into the closet. we did so. as soon as my family was secured and i knew they were safe, then we went to city hall to start our emergency plan to make sure the rest of the citizens were safe. >> and you're going to go have a tour around from the air, is that correct? >> that's correct. i've been on the ground all night talking with our citizens, talking with our first responders, making certain that our citizens are taken care of. i've declared a state of emergency and a state of catastrophe. and we're working with local officials, state officials and we're going to be looking at it from the air very shortly. >> mayor, we are looking at some amazing pictures here, some
aerials of the damage. can you describe what you see on the ground? >> we have power lines down, trees down, houses torn apart. i looked at pieces in parts of a dishwasher that had literally been ripped to shreds. it's an absolute miracle that we didn't have any fatalities and the injuries weren't more severe than what we had. our friends right down the road in granbury, our hearts are breaking for them right now. we're reaching out to them as well. >> all right. mayor, we wish you the best, you and all of those there in your city in that small town. and of course that the cleanup gets underway, we're going to see more pictures as he takes that aerial tour. you can see extraordinary damage from the tornadoes that touched down. mayor, thanks again. we really wish you the best. if you'd actually like to help some of the victims of the texas storms, visit our website at
9:09am it's a way of reaching out helping those people. it's unbelievable. >> terrific all kinds of resources there on how you can individually help in all kinds of areas, but this obviously the focus today. when you see it from the air, it just breaks your heart. all right, meanwhile, here's more of what we're working on this hour for "around the world." >> any minute now president obama stepping in front of the cameras in the rose garden. you see the pictures there, live pictures. he is going to be meeting with the turkish prime minister. they've had meetings this morning, but they're going to go before the cameras and address relations. but also domestic damage control likely to dominate this press conference. we're going to give it to you live as soon as it starts. >> also ahead, brand new information out of boston for you. it turns out that the bombing suspect, dzhokhar tsarnaev, wrote a note while he was hiding in that boat in watertown. we'll tell you what the note says and where it was written when we come back. the day my doctor told me i had diabetes,
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and the president will have to answer some very tough questions there on the podium. we believe two questions from the american side, two questions from the turkish journalist. meanwhile, a chilling message scribbled inside the boat where the boston bombing suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev was found hiding. a law enforcement official says the suspect wrote that the attack was retribution for what he called u.s. crimes against muslims. >> so he was found in that boat just outside boston. this is after this day-long manhunt that essentially paralyzed the city. our deborah feyerick is joining us from new york. what did he say in his handwritten note? >> you know, it's fascinating. when you see the content summarized, it paints a portrait of what was going on inside his mind. it does appear 19-year-old dzhokhar tsarnaev really never expected to live out the night. remember, he was on the run for more than 12 hours, he was wounded, he was bleeding. so he scrawled what appears to be a message on the inside of the boat. according to a law enforcement official apparently he wrote
that one of the reasons he was not going to miss his brother, tamerlan who was killed just hours earlier, was because he fully expected to be joining his brother. he also says the motive, the motive retribution for u.s. attacks against muslims in both iraq and afghanistan. also he talks about the victims in boston. and he calls them collateral damage. so he had a lot of time that he was in that boat, he had disappeared, he was off the radar, law enforcement knew he was in the watertown area, they didn't know exactly where he was hiding. so he was seeking shelter and law enforcement had sort of backed away to give him some time to either just rest or to sort of come out where they could see him. suzanne, michael. >> yeah. any word on how he actually managed to literally write the message? >> you know, it's not clear. he was in a boat, the boat had been covered for the winter, winterized. so he may have just, you know, the way it was described is that it was scrawled on the boat. so whether he found some sort of
a marker, whether he used some sort of a knife, whether he used something to sort of acknowledge it on the boat, he had a lot of time inside there. he had a lot of time certainly to think and a lot of time to kind of figure out whether in fact he was going to live or not. michael, suzanne. >> all right. deb, thanks so much. deborah feyerick there in new york. >> you're not going to want to miss anderson cooper's special report back to boston, that is tomorrow night. you're going to hear incredible stories from some of the photographers who captured some of those iconic moments from last month's bombing. that is this friday 10:00 p.m. eastern. and happening around the world right now, a suicide bomber has hit a nato military convoy, this is in afghanistan. >> yeah, actually in the capital kabul. a nato spokesman says two service members were killed. nato has not said what their nationalities are at the moment. and there are also four civilians, contractors who worked for nato, who also died in this attack. >> an afghan government spokesman says that 30 other people were killed or injured including some school children.
an insurgent group has now claimed responsibility. >> and the violence never stops in baghdad. in iraq there have been shootings and explosions there and in elsewhere in the country. at least six people dead today. violence has been spiking across the country, especially between political and religious groups. it's very sectarian. it's also people who don't like the current order of power. now, the bombs in baghdad today went off in neighborhoods where the majority of people are shiite muslim. >> yesterday, more than a dozen bombs went off across iraq killing at least 29 people. and thousands of people living on the coast of myanmar, they are now scrambling to get to higher ground today. an enormous storm, a cyclone, is raging in that part of the world and might cause major flooding there in bangladesh. >> yeah, they're frantically working to avoid a repeat of 2008. back then a cyclone, what you'd call a hurricane here in the u.s., killed more than 100,000 people in myanmar.
>> and want to remind you we of course are awaiting president obama and turkish prime minister to come out at the rose garden at the white house for a press conference. we'll take that live as soon as it starts. we'll have a quick break. this is america.
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i want to take you to washington now. jake tapper is standing by with some breaking news. you've got your hands on a report. it seems bizarre, but they've lost a couple people. >> that's right. well, what's going on here is that the office of the inspector general at the justice department was conducting an audit of the what people call the witness security program, it's the federal witness relocation program, it's where they put people who are testifying against other individuals and they protect them. but while the justice department inspector general was conducting this audit on the witness security program, they realized
that there were so many vulnerabilities, national security vulnerabilities that they needed to tell the justice department about them right then. one of those vulnerabilities is they were giving suspects new names, including some former terrorists. but they were not letting other government agencies know these new names. and while in the midst of trying to account for all the individuals given these new names, the u.s. marshal service realized they had basically lost two former or suspected terrorists who are now -- one is now believed to be outside the united states and one is more definitively outside the united states. so in the midst of this horrible week that the obama administration is having about the irs, about benghazi, about the justice department subpoenaing these records, we now also know that the justice department is going to come under fire without any question because of this report which indicates the inspector general finds that the u.s. marshal service has not located, has
failed to find, two former or suspected terrorists put in the witness relocation program who they've lost track of. it's really quite astounding turn of events. >> jake, you are breaking this story now. i want to bring in wolf blitzer as well to weigh-in on some of the reaction on all of this because, wolf, jake brings up a very good point. this comes at a week where there are a lot of questions. and republicans continue to ask these questions pummelling the obama administration over benghazi and whether or not there was appropriate security in benghazi when the consulate was attacked. this too goes to national security and national security concerns in dealing with terrorists. what do you think the fallout here is going to be? >> you make an excellent point about benghazi. as much as there's been so much focus on those so-called talking points that were provided to the members of congress, the american public, through the united states ambassador susan rice. the talking points have dominated the discussion, the
real question i felt was why was the united states ambassador chris stevens in benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11 attacks. what was he doing there? why was there such limited security for the u.s. ambassador and other u.s. officials? what were they doing there especially since the british had pulled out of benghazi, the international red cross and weeks earlier had pulled out. there had been so many threats to the u.s. in benghazi, why let the u.s. ambassador be there on a day when everybody suspected there could be some serious terrorist problems? and then the second big question which really hasn't been thoroughly answered is once the operation began, the terrorist operation, could the u.s. military special operations forces, others, have done more to save u.s. lives? those are the big questions. and this story now that jake is breaking here on cnn, it raises further questions. two suspected terrorists whom the u.s. government had relocated presumably because
they were providing sensitive information to the u.s., all of a sudden disappear and the u.s. doesn't know where these terrorists are right now? this is a national security issue of significant importance. and i'm sure it's going to cause a lot of heartburn for a lot of national security officials especially those at the justice department who were responsible through this marshals service and making sure that everyone knows where these terrorists are even if they're cooperating. because you know what, even if they're cooperating today, you don't know they're going to be cooperating tomorrow. >> especially if they've left the country. jake, i know it's early and i don't know how much detail you have, what do you know about who these guys are? >> they haven't disclosed who these individuals precisely are. remember, they're trying to hide their identities. that was the whole point behind putting them in the witness security program, what people probably know from television is the witness relocation program. but here's something else that's interesting in this public summary of the report that we have obtained. we talked a lot on cnn about stove piping information
especially when it came to 9/11, different security agencies having information, the fbi, cia, other agencies, but not sharing it. we talked about it a lot in the wake of the boston marathon bombings. now we have it again here in this report. the inspector general of the justice department finding that the justice department not only didn't know definitively how many known or suspected terrorists were admitted into the witness security program, but also that the marshal service did not share information of potential value to the fbi before may 2012, just last year the marshal service, the fbi and other agencies did not have a formal process to share witness security terrorism information. they were not sharing this information. so what would happen is these individuals who participated in the witness security program would get new names. the federal government would provide them with these new identities. and then even though they were suspected terrorists and under their old names would not be
allowed to fly because of the no-fly list, with their new names they were able to because this information wasn't being shared. it's another remarkable turn of events when it comes to just the incompetence of the federal government and the failure to share information to make sure that the government is working as one cohesive whole. we saw this again during the investigation into tamerlan tsarnaev, the dead suspect in the boston marathon bombings who was investigated by the fbi but nobody in boston law enforcement had any idea that he was suspected of being up to nefarious actions. did that have an effect? we don't know. but we do know more information when it comes to information sharing is generally considered to be better. >> it is extraordinary. jake, thanks so much. >> that's unbelievable. it's something that obviously they're going to ask at the briefing. i don't know if the president's going to be prepared to answer that specific question there, but, you know, you have the attorney general of the justice department yesterday at a hearing under fire already.
and, again, this goes to questions in terms of whether or not they're communicating and talking with one another, whether or not, you know, there's some accountability here, trust in the government. >> to jake's point there, you have a name that would not be allowed to get on an airplane and he gets a new name and nobody knows he shouldn't be getting on the plane with a new name. unbelievable. >> we are watching. we are watching washington, we are watching the rose garden to see whether or not the president will actually be able to address many of these questions. he as well as the prime minister of turkey are going to go there before the cameras and reporters and address that news that jake tapper just broke on our air, but also a number of scandals that they are struggling with now to deal with at the white house. ♪ none of us think bad things are gonna happen to us. i'm here at my house on thanksgiving day, and i have a massive heart attack right in my driveway. an artery in your heart, it's called the widow maker. and mine was 95% blocked. they took me to the hospital, and the doctor put me on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] aspirin is not appropriate for everyone,
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plus choose either an appetizer or a dessert to share. we are waiting a press conference to begin there in the rose garden momentarily here. the president as well as the prime minister of turkey will be facing reporters. very likely there will be two questions for the american journalists and two questions turkish journalists will be able to ask. the leaders and of course we're talking about relations dealing with syria, civil war, we are also talking about three different scandals that the
white house has had to address within a span of a week or so. and so there's going to be a lot to cover in that period of time there. >> and say the domestic issues are clearly going to dominate, but it's a shame really because turkey/u.s. relations are vital at the moment when it comes to that part of the world. long-time allies, they've got common interests, muslim ally if you like. and neighboring syria and turkey having its concerns about u.s. involvement or limits of its involvement in the syrian conflict. so unfortunately probably that's going to be pushed a little bit to one side. >> i suspect probably the foreign press will deal with the syria and some of the overseas questions and subjects and then the americans will deal with a lot of the scandal here, the politics of all that at home. we are watching as well cleveland honoring its police officers for their part in rescuing the three women from ten years of torture and captivity. one officer said she prayed that the 9-1-1 call was real and not
a hoax. >> at a news conference yesterday, several of those officers gave heartfelt accounts of what they experienced when they found amanda berry, gina dejesus and michelle knight alive. they said no training could have prepared them for the emotions of that day. an austrian woman has advice for the three women in cleveland. >> a unique perspective. she knows what they went through based on her own painful experience. and she's encouraging them to savor every moment of their newfound freedom. >> she spoke exclusively with our matthew chance. >> what exactly happened on that day? >> i walked down the street and i saw a man. >> if anyone can understand what the cleveland kidnap victims must have endured, it's natasha. she took us to the streets in
vienna where she herself was abducted, age just 10. >> grabbed me and -- >> like the women in cleveland, she spent the best part of a decade torn from her family imprisoned in her abductor's house. when you saw that there were three women in cleveland, ohio, that had been through a very similar experience to yours, how did that make you feel? >> translator: i thought to myself, i'm very happy for the three women. thank god they have survived their ordeal. they are certainly very strong. >> this is the man who robbed her of her childhood. he kept her locked in his cellar for eight long years. he raped her then committed suicide when she finally escaped
aged 18. >> translator: it was an enormous feeling of joy that cannot be compared to anything else. you see all the possibilities laid out in front of you. the women in cleveland should really try to savor this joyous feeling as long as possible. >> i was very jealous of him. he had everything and i had only a small room. >> but at the house where she was a prisoner, she's now the owner. it was awarded to her by the austrian courts as damages. the property is an important symbol she told me. keeping it is her way of dealing with her past. how do you get over it? a lot of people are going to be watching this situation in cleveland and thinking about you as well and wondering, you know, how do you ever get over an experience like this. >> translator: you live with it. you live with it in your head your whole life. you have to try to see the positive and look forward to the
future. and to bury the hate you feel for the person who did this to you. >> it is a sobering thought for the victims in cleveland. like natascha, their captivity has been ended, but their ordeal may be far from over. matthew chance, cnn, vienna. all right. two years after gadhafi's fall, libya struggling to cope with violence, new leadership, there's been an influx also of fast food restaurants. >> that is amazing. we're going to take a look at all that. anthony bourdain is walking the streets. he tasted the fried chicken there. you see him eating. he's going to join us live right after this to talk all about it. ♪ constipated? yeah. mm. some laxatives like dulcolax can cause cramps. but phillips' caplets don't. they have magnesium. for effective relief of occasional constipation. thanks. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. ♪ fly me to the moon
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anthony bourdain, boy, he's been doing great. this new show that we've got on "parts unknown," which we've been fans of for years back in the previous incarnation. traveling the world and going to cool places. >> it's actually really cool because this coming sunday night he's actually in libya doing his thing, meaning eating everything he can. take a look at the country since the fall of course of moammar gadhafi. >> fresh produce is for sale on tripoli's streets. if you were a small restaurant or shopping for a big family, you'd bring cash, a wheelbarrow and load up with what you need.
but revolution has brought changed tastes. libya libyans, especially young libyans, hunger for more than just freedom. they hunger for places like this. kentucky fried chicken. uncle kentucky fried chicken. okay. the colonel and his buddies, the king and clown, have not quite made it here. given the uncertainty of the situation. so in the meantime places like this have been popping up. uncle kentucky, awesome. do you know where kentucky is? >> kentucky is from usa. >> part. >> yeah. >> this is new? >> yeah. before gadhafi. >> impossible. >> yeah. now it's normal. >> oh, that's nice.
>> how do you find it? >> spicy delicious. >> and there's the man himself live in new york. anthony bourdain, i was just saying to suzanne i was in afghanistan after the taliban fell and almost immediately up popped kabul fried chicken with the whole kfc signage and everything. memories of that. what did you think about libya? i know you ate more than kentucky fried chicken. >> i found it ultimately confusing, frightening and deeply inspiring. i mean, i met a lot of people there who'd fought during the uprising like this young man who spoke to me very earnestly, guilelessly about their hopes for the future. i find more often than not i was charmed and made optimistic. >> and, anthony, you also talk a lot about all the different kinds of things you saw and experienced from hip hop, libyan hip hop, boy scouts, ak-47s,
people blowing off fireworks and all that, what was the most surprising thing that you saw? >> this sense of exuberance, this determination to build a country from nothing to really to start anew, the do-it-yourself nature of basic services. meaning a lot of functions ordinarily performed by police are being done on a voluntary basis by a militia. surely there are people there who would like to hurt us, who don't particularly love america, but there are also a lot of young people there who just want to have fun. >> i think we're going to show pictures you took while you were there, which love to see personal photographs. i actually got to spend two or three weeks with the rebels during the revolution up in the mountains was mainly laughing cow cheese on crackers i have to say, but i'm curious whether the joy that we all saw -- we ate one of those as well.
the joy that we saw at the end of the revolution, did you get a sense now that there is also, i don't know, a fear now of where it's going? because things are still blowing up every day or seems like every day. >> i asked a lot of people this question. the answer i got back again and again was, look, we took down gadhafi. we will take care of these people too. there seems to be a sense of determination to not ever allow themselves to backslide into the kind of oppressive regime they had before. they like their freedom. i'm not speaking for everybody for sure. but i met a lot of people who are very determined and convinced however long it might take that they will not go back to the way it was and that they will not allow what they call dark forces to interfere with the kind of libya they'd like to have. >> anthony, you mention a feeling of danger. how so? when did you feel a sense of
unease there? >> well, it was a very fast changing situation. the british embassy when we were there had told all british citizens to leave benghazi. it got tense. our security advisors were very concerned to the point that, you know, every night there was a crisis meeting, a discussion of whether or not -- our security guys were very much leaning towards the whole crew heading to the airport immediately. so that was sort of a daily discussion and a tense one. but in the end we worked through. >> there are so many challenges that face libya and libyans in the real world, but this is what i love about your show, it's a real window into the places you go. it's a great show. what was the food like though? the non-kfc food. >> well, we did sort of a fried donut and egg thing. i forget the name. it was delicious. libyan breakfast food is extraordinary. the seafood is very, very good. they're right on the mediterranean. they have access to great fish and they know how to cook it.
it should be remembered they had a long colonial period with the italians. so traditional libyan food at this point incorporates a number of what we would call italian classics like neapolitan style ragu is very popular. they do like a -- as any good society, they like barbecue. >> anthony, they're telling us we have to go. but how was the kfc? how was the chicken? did it taste like kfc? >> it wasn't bad. that kid who you see, a militia member, at one point looks in the camera and says this is the taste of freedom. >> wow. >> which is both dismaying and heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time. >> kfc. >> uplifting and depressing all at once. anthony, great to see you. love, love, love the show. >> anthony bourdain in libya of course sunday night right here on cnn "parts unknown" coming on at 9:00 eastern. you have to tune in or at least
set your dvr. >> still ahead, we're going to be telling you about a desperate shortage that has led venezuela's new president to import 50 million -- do you want to say it? >> i'll say it. rolls of toilet paper. that is right. stay with us. we went out and asked people a simple question: how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90s. and that's a great thing. but even though we're living longer, one thing that hasn't changed much is the official retirement age. ♪ the question is how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years. ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] if you have yet to master the quiet sneeze... ♪ [ sneezes ] [ male announcer ] you may be an allergy muddler. try zyrtec®. it gives you powerful allergy relief. and zyrtec® is different than claritin®
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we go directly to the rose garden at the white house there. president obama and prime minister of turkey there to make some statements and answer some questions. let's listen in. >> please be seated, everybody. good afternoon. it is a great pleasure to welcome my friend, prime minister erdogan, back to the white house. this visit is also another opportunity for me to return the extraordinary hospitality that the prime minister and the turkish people showed me on my visit to turkey four years ago. and that included my visit to the prime minister's beautiful hometown of istanbul. this visit reflects the importance that the united states places on our relationship with our ally turkey and i value so much the partnership that i've been able to develop with prime minister erdogan. today, we discussed the many areas in which our countries cooperate including afghanistan, where our troops serve bravely together. the g-20, where we promote our
shared prosperity. and iran, where we agree it is critical that we do not see that country acquire a nuclear weapon and potentially trigger an arms race throughout the region. given our shared interest in peace, i want to note the prime minister's efforts to normalize relations with israel. this will benefit both the turkish and israeli people and can also help us make progress on a two-state solution including an independent palestinian state. today, we focused on three areas that i want to highlight. first, we agreed to keep expanding trade and investment. over the past four years our trade has surged and u.s. exports to turkey have more than doubled as the united states pursues a new trade and investment partnership with the eu, i want to make sure that we also keep deepening our economic ties with turkey. so we're creating a new high
level committee that will focus on increasing trade and investment between our two countries and will help fuel turkish innovation. and the progress that turkey's economy has made over the last several years, i think, has been remarkable and the prime minister deserves much credit for some of the reforms that are taking place. second, as nato allies we are reaffirming our solemn commitment to our mutual security. mr. prime minister, on behalf of the american people, i want to express our condolences to the turkish people and the victims of the outrageous bombings that took place. as always, the united states stands with you as you defend your nation against terrorism. we want to thank you for the cooperation that you've provided us in threats against the united states. and i want to take this opportunity to commend you and the turkish people for your courage in seeking an historic and peaceful resolution of the
pkk violence that has plagued turkey for so long. and, just as the united states has stood with you in your long search for security, we will support efforts in turkey to uphold the good rule and human rights for all. finally, we spent a great deal of time on an issue that has racked the region, the issue of syria. under the prime minister's leadership, the turkish people have shown extraordinary generosity to the syrians who have found refuge in turkey. i know this is a heavy burden. i made it clear today again that the united states is going to keep on helping countries in the region including turkey shoulder this burden doing our part as a major donor of humanitarian aid to the syrian people including those refugees in turkey. and we're going to keep working with our turkish partners to deliver the food, shelter and medicine needed to save lives. at the same time, we're going to
keep increasing the pressure on the assad regime, and working with the syrian opposition. the prime minister's been at the forefront of the international effort to push for a transition to a democratic syria without bashar assad. and turkey's going to play an important role as we bring representatives of the regime and opposition together in the coming weeks. we both agree that assad needs to go. he needs to transfer power to a transitional body. that is the only way we're going to resolve this crisis. and we're going to keep working for a syria that is free from assad's tir tyranny that is attack and inclusive of all religious groups and that's a source of stability, not extremism. because it's in the profound interests of all our nations, especially turkey. so again, mr. prime minister, i want to thank you for being here and for being such a strong ally and partner in the region and around the world. i know that michelle appreciates
the opportunity to host mrs. erdogan and your two wonderful daughters this morning. i'm looking forward to our dinner tonight. and as always, among the topics where i appreciate your advice is close to our hearts. and that's how to raise our daughters well. you're a little ahead of me in terms of their ages. with the prime minister's permission i want to make one other point. there's been intense discussion in congress lately around the attacks in benghazi. we lost four brave americans, patriots who accepted the risks that come with service because they know that their contributions are vital to our national interests and national security. i am intent on making sure that we do everything we can to prevent another tragedy like this from happening. but that means we owe it to them and all who serve to do everything in our power to protect our personnel serving
overseas. that's why at my direction we've been taking a series of steps that were recommended by the review board after the incident. we're continuing to review our security at high threat diplomatic posts including the size and nature of our presence, improving training for those headed to dangerous posts, increasing intelligence and warning capabilities. and i've directed the defense department to ensure that our military can respond lightning quick in times of crisis. but we're not going to be able to do this alone. we're going to need congress as a partner. i've been in discussions and my team has been in discussions with both democrats and republicans. and i'm calling on congress to work with us to support and fully fund our budget requests to improve the security of our embassies around the world. we also need congress to work with us to provide the resources and to authorities so we can fully implement all of the recommendations of the accountability review board, and
we're going to need congress's help in terms of increasing the number of our marine corps guard who protect our embassies. i want to say to members of congress in both parties, we need to come together and truly honor the sacrifice of those four courageous americans and better secure our diplomatic posts around the world. and i should add by the way we're getting some help from the turkish government on some of these issues. that's how we learned the lessons of benghazi, that's how we keep faith with the men and women who we send overseas to represent america. and that's what i will stay focused on as commander in chief. with that, mr. prime minister, welcome to the united states. i'm sorry the weather isn't fully cooperating with our lovely rose garden press conference, but i think we'll be okay. >> thank you. >> translator: mr. president, my
dear friend president of the united states, a friend and ally, i'm here to -- i'm once again very pleased to be here in washington to have meetings with the president. i would like to express my thanks for the hospitality that has been shown to us on this occasion on behalf of myself and my delegation. in the president's person i would like to express our condolences for the terror attack that took place in boston. we express our condolences to the american people. we are a country which has been fighting against terrorism for many years. we have lost many lives in that fight against terrorism. and so we very well understand the feelings and sentiments of the american people in face of such an event. as turkey and the united states, we are both determined to continue to fight jointly against terrorism. my dear friends, turkey and the united states have many issues
that cover the middle east to the balkans to central asia to other areas including issues of energy, supply and many other issues. on all these issues we display a very strong cooperation. and in our meetings with president obama today, we talked about relations between turkey and the united states and also about some topical issues which we main on both of our agendas. we had an opportunity to exchange views on regional and global issues. and our exchange of views and opinions will continue throughout the day with other meetings that will take place during the rest of the day. i am here with close to 100 business people, and they are holding meetings with their counterparts in the united states. and they will continue to talk and meet with their counterparts this afternoon as well. bilateral economic relations between turkey and the united
states have to be improved. and we both have this aim. ten years ago our trade stood at $8 billion. at the moment trade stands at $20 billion. but this amount is still not sufficient. we have to increase the amount of trade between our two countries. bilateral economic and trade relations -- >> we're going to break away for the moment from the prime minister of turkey as he makes his opening statement. as soon as the first question begins we're going back to this news conference. but we just heard the president make a statement promising that he was going to do whatever was necessary to make sure that the killings in benghazi last september 11th do not happen again. whatever security requirements are needed to bolster u.s. diplomatic presence, the diplomatic presence around the world especially in sensitive insecure areas, he wants to work with congress for the funding and the proper treatment. gloria borger's here, jake tapper's here. we're watching.
we're going right back to the news conference, gloria, once the questions start. but obviously the president is very sensitive to what happened in benghazi. >> obviously. and he took the opportunity, remember, he was not asked a question about it, but took the opportunity to raise the issue of embassy security here making the point that they are taking steps to do exactly what the review board told them to do. and also seemed to indicate that they could even go beyond. i mean, he said that we continue to review security at these high threat diplomatic posts. because in all of the controversy over the benghazi e-mails, wolf, what they understand over at the white house and what every american understands is that this cannot happen again, that four people died who did not need to. >> i still don't have a good answer and i've read the accountability review board's assessment, tohomas pickering, admiral mullen, i still don't understand who decided the u.s.
ambassador to libya chris stevens should be in benghazi on that day after reports of terrorism, do you have a good answer to why he was there in a dangerous situation to begin with? >> my understanding is that chris stooemevens was in bengha because chris stevens wants to go to benghazi. i don't mean to disrespect a killed and brave man, a lot of ambassadors who are in countries like that don't actually like to have big footprints when they travel. my understanding is that stevens fit that description. but we should also point out that stevens wanted more security for diplomats in libya in general. and one of the interesting parts of the obama administration's and the white house's reaction to the benghazi controversy or scandal is the fact that they have now accepted the fact that what a lot of us were reporting in september and oob